Gallery: 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia was a photographic feast
In 2020, the Dakar Rally made another controversial move, this time to the endless desert sands and razor-sharp rocky outcroppings of Saudi Arabia for the ultimate torture test of man and machine. And this year's images are absolutely stunning.
The 42nd edition of this storied race has been run and won, with just under 70 percent of starters making it to the finish line in the first Saudi Dakar. American Ricky Brabec took a long-awaited win in the motorcycle class for Honda, breaking an 18-year winning streak by KTM, and Ignacio Casale hopped back on a quad bike to dominate the field for his third quad title after a year floundering in the side-by-side division, which was won this year by American Casey Currie in a Can-Am on just his second Dakar start.
Spanish veteran Carlos Sainz drove his Mini to his third Dakar trophy in the cars category, and Kamaz again smashed the trucks division, with Andrey Karginov and his team stepping up to walk the rest of the field when last year's champion Eduoard Nikolayev retired with mechanical issues. A pall was cast over the event by the tragic death of motorcycle veteran Paulo Goncalvez, pictured below, who succumbed to injuries after a high speed crash during Stage 7.
The Dakar's mix of monstrous, high-powered machinery, sublime skill and remote, unforgiving terrain always results in a spectacular crop of photos, and this first year in Saudi Arabia showed that you don't need much of the color green to make an incredibly beautiful race and a photographer's feast. Below are some of our favorite photos, but click through into the gallery for many more.